JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Barnett Banks Inc. said it had signed a letter of intent to sell BTI Services Inc., its student loan servicing unit, and the Barnett Higher Education Loan Program, its student loan origination division, to Union Bank and Trust Co. of Lincoln, Neb. Terms were not disclosed.

Barnett said BTI services a total portfolio of more than $4 billion in student loans and guarantee agency assets for various clients, including Barnett. Over the last two years, the loan origination division has booked about $400 million in new student loans, the company said.

The Florida banking company said its 1993 earnings would not be impacted and that the transaction "should enhance future results."

Under the agreement, Barnett Higher Education will continue to originate new student loans in Florida and Georgia for Barnett's portfolio and BTI will service them. The two units will remain in Jacksonville with the current staffs in place, Barnett said.

The sale is subject to the execution of a definitive agreement and due diligence, the company said.

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